Are you a Zoom user? Have you ever created an account through their website? If you answered yes to either question, you might want to check your mail for something from [email protected].
You may have seen it and thought it was junk mail. Maybe you deleted it. Maybe you just scrolled past it and ignored it. Whatever the case may be, you might have been left wondering: Is the Zoom class action lawsuit real? The short answer is – yes, it is, and you could end up leaving more than $15,000 on the table if you don’t file a Zoom lawsuit claim.
Not sure where to begin? Here’s everything you need to know about the class action suit.
What Is the Zoom Class Action Lawsuit About
In 2021, video conferencing giant, Zoom came under fire when reports emerged that it was sharing users’ private information without their knowledge and that the platform was not end-to-end encrypted as it had purported. Court documents indicate that users’ information was shared with third-party companies, including Google and Facebook, in complete violation of their privacy rights.
If you used Zoom in the period between March 30, 2016, and July 30, 2021, you likely received an email informing you that you may be entitled to a cash payout from the company as part of a class-action suit initiated against it.
The suit alleges that Zoom Video Communications Inc., the conferencing platform, not only shared users’ information with third parties without seeking the requisite permissions but also failed to properly mitigate “Zoombombings,” a phenomenon where hackers would gain unauthorized access to what was supposed to end-to-end encrypted meetings.
Zoom Privacy Litigation
The class-action suit centers on three Zoom privacy issues. According to the lawsuit, the video conferencing application:
- Shared certain user information with third parties without users’ knowledge or consent
- Should have taken proper measures to prevent Zoombombings by hackers
- Falsely advertised its conferencing platform as being end-to-end encrypted when this was, in fact, not the case
Despite these glaring gaps in privacy and security, the company denied any wrongdoing. Zoom further alleges that no member of the class action has suffered any injuries or damages resulting from these allegations.
Zoom Lawsuit Settlement
Rather than let the court decide whether Zoom is culpable for the allegations leveled against it, the company paid $85 million to settle the class-action lawsuit against it. California federal judge Laurel Beeler approved the payout to millions of Zoom users, saying that it was a fair deal for the approximately 150 million members of the class.
Although the settlement was reached on July 31, 2020, it wasn’t until November of the same year that the majority of users learned about the privacy and security issues surrounding the platform and the ensuing lawsuit. This came in the form of an email from the settlement administrator outlining the key highlights of the agreement, who may qualify for compensation, and how to file a Zoom lawsuit claim.
As part of the settlement agreement, Zoom agreed to make several improvements aimed at protecting users’ data and privacy and bolstering the platform’s security. Shortly after, Jason Lee, the chief information security officer of the California-based teleconferencing giant, issued a statement announcing enhancements to the platform. He reiterated the company’s commitment to providing a secure platform that users can trust for online business interactions, information exchange, and personal communication.
How the Settlement Will Be Divided Among Class Members
Details from the settlement agreement indicate that class members who had paid for a Zoom subscription would be entitled to a higher payout. They will receive either 15% of the total amount they paid or $25, whichever is higher. Class members who were not on a paid subscription will be entitled to $15.
The amount available to the class members will be what’s left over after $21.4 million is deducted from the settlement fund. These include:
- Costs to the class counsel
- Services charges amounting to $5,000 per plaintiff
- Settlement administration expenses amounting to $2.8 million
- Tax expenses
Plaintiffs’ Legal Rights in the Zoom Class Action Settlement
Below is a brief outline of the legal options available to you in the Zoom settlement.
1. Submit a Claim to Be Eligible for a Cash Payout
To receive the settlement, you need to have completed and submitted a valid claim form by March 5, 2022. No submissions will be accepted after the deadline.
2. Exclude Yourself
To exclude yourself from the settlement, you will need to inform the settlement administrator, letting them know that you wish to “opt out.” You need to submit the exclusion request by March 5, 2022. Requests submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
3. Object to the Settlement
If you have any objections to the proposed settlement, you must have written to the court by March 5, 2022. Objections received after this deadline will not be deemed valid and will, therefore, not be considered.
4. Do Nothing
If you “did nothing,” meaning you did not complete and submit a claim form, you will not be entitled to a cash payment from the settlement fund. Keep in mind that if you do receive a payout from the settlement fund, it effectively means that you’ve relinquished your rights to pursue any Zoom lawsuits in the future for claims released by the settlement.
Current Status of the Zoom Class Action Settlement
The US District Court in California’s Northern District issued the final approval of the lawsuit settlement. Assuming no objections are filed, payouts are slated to begin in July 2022.
The settlement serves as an ever-present reminder that dollars and data, risk and profit are and will continue to be inextricably linked for the foreseeable future. It serves as a cautionary tale for players in the digital space to take a closer look at their data security policies and protection measures. That way, they can avoid succumbing to the same fate that Zoom and other high-profile firms have faced and ensure that users’ information is protected at all costs.
Do you have a Zoom class action lawsuit-related question for us? Chat online with a Laws101 attorney right now.